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Peter Milgrom, DDS

Peter Milgrom

Professor Emeritus, Oral Health Sciences



Dr. Peter Milgrom is Professor of Oral Health Sciences and Pediatric Dentistry in the School of Dentistry and adjunct Professor of Health Services in the School of Public Health at the University of Washington. He directs the Northwest Center to Reduce Oral Health Disparities. He holds academic appointments at Case Western University, University of Rochester, and University of California, San Francisco. He maintains a dental practice limited to the care of fearful patients and served as Director of the UW Dental Fears Research Clinic. Dr. Milgrom’s work includes research on xylitol, the effectiveness of fluoride varnish and iodine in preschoolers, clinical efficacy and safety of diammine silver fluoride, motivational strategies to increase perinatal and well child dental visits in rural communities, and studies of cognitive interventions in pediatric and adult dental fear. The NIH, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, HRSA, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation support his work. Dr. Milgrom is author of 5 books and over 300 scientific articles. His latest book, Treating Fearful Dental Patients, was published in 2009.

Awards and Professional Service

Dr. Milgrom was Distinguished Dental Behavioral Scientist of the International Association for Dental Research for 1999. In 1999, and again in 2000, his work was recognized by the Giddon Award for research in the behavioral sciences in Dentistry. He received the Barrows Milk Award from IADR in 2000, recognizing his work for public health including the development of the Access to Baby and Child Dentistry (ABCD) program in Washington State. In 2003, Dr. Milgrom received a Special Commendation Award from the National Legal Aid and Defenders Association and the University of Washington Medical Center Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Award. In 2010, he received the Aubrey Sheiham Research Award for his work on xylitol. He serves on scientific review committees for the NIDCR, NIMHHD, NINDS, Center for Scientific Review at NIH and as a consultant to the FDA. In 2005, Dr. Milgrom was appointed the SAAD Visiting Professor of Pain and Anxiety Control at the King’s College Dental Institute, University of London, UK for a six-year term. In 2008 he was awarded the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Bergen, Norway in recognition of his work in social and behavioral dentistry. In 2012, he received the University of California, San Francisco Dental Alumni Gold Medal for his contributions to Dentistry. In 2012 he was also awarded the Norton Ross Award for Excellence in Clinical Research by the American Dental Association. In 2013, he was appointed to the Council of Scientific Affairs of the American Dental Association. In 2014, he received the Irwin M. Mandel Distinguished Mentor Award from the IADR. In 2015, he served as HMDP Expert in Dental Public Health for the Singapore Ministry of Health. Dr. Milgrom received his DDS from the University of California, San Francisco in 1972 and had a previous position at the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

In the last few years, Dr. Milgrom has spoken to dental associations in Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Philippines, and USA and at major universities in USA and abroad.


1. Milgrom P, Sutherland M, Shirtcliff M, Ludwig S, Smolen D. Children’s tooth decay in a public health program to encourage low-income pregnant women to utilize dental care. BMC Public Health. 2010 Feb 18;10:76.
2. Heaton, LJ, McNeil DW, Milgrom P. Propranolol and d-cycloserine as adjunctive medications in reducing dental fear in sedation practice. SAAD Dig. 2010 Jan;26:27-35.
3. Boyle CA, Newton T, Milgrom P. Development of a UK version of Carl: a computer program for conducting exposure therapy for treatment of dental injection fear. SAAD Dig. 2010 Jan;26:8-11.
4. Tut OK, Milgrom P. Topical iodine and fluoride varnish combined is more effective than fluoride varnish alone for protecting erupting first permanent molars: A retrospective cohort study. J Pub Health Dent. 2010 Mar 10. Epub ahead of print.
5. Milgrom P, Newton JT, Boyle C, Heaton LJ, Donaldson ANA. The effects of dental anxiety and irregular attendance on referral for dental treatment under sedation within the National Health Service in London. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 2010. June 10 Epub ahead of print.
6. Milgrom P, Lee RSY, Huebner CE, Conrad DA. Medicaid reforms in Oregon and suboptimal utilization of dental care of women of childbearing age. J Am Dent Assoc, 2010;141(6):688-95.
7. Boyle CA, Newton T, Heaton LJ, Afzali S, Milgrom P. What happens after referral for sedation? Brit Dental J 2010;208(11):E22.
8. Conrad DA, Lee RSY, Milgrom P, Huebner CE. Estimating the determinants of dentist productivity: New evidence. J Public Health Dent. 2010. June 10 Epub ahead of print.
9. Milgrom P, Lee RSY, Huebner CE, Conrad DA. Medicaid reforms in Oregon and suboptimal utilization of dental care of women of childbearing age. J Am Dent Assoc, 2010;141(6):688-95.
10. Lee RS, Milgrom P, Huebner CE, Conrad DA. Dentists’ perceptions of barriers to providing dental care to pregnant women. Women’s Health Issues. 2010 Sep;20(5):359-65.
11. Castillo JL, Rivera S, Aparicio T, Lazo R, Aw TC, Mancl LL, Milgrom P. The short-term effects of diammine silver fluoride on tooth sensitivity: a randomized controlled trial. J Dent Res. 2011 Feb;90(2):203-8. Epub 2010 Nov 30.
12. Bazargan N, Chi DL, Milgrom P. Exploring the potential for foreign-trained dentists to address workforce shortages and improve access to dental care for vulnerable populations in the United States: a case study from Washington State. BMC Health Serv Res. 2010 Dec 10;10:336.
13. Kloetzel MK, Huebner CE, Milgrom P. Referrals for dental care during pregnancy. J Midwifery Women’s Health. 2011 Mar-Apr;56(2):110-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1542-2011.2010.00022.x. Epub 2011 Feb 28.
14. Milgrom P. Restorative treatment of primary teeth using compomer is not more effective than treatment with amalgam in preventing new tooth decay in children. J Evid Based Dent Pract. 2011 Mar;11(1):41-2.
15. Armfield JM, Milgrom P. A clinician guide to patients afraid of dental injections and numbness. SAAD Dig. 2011 Jan;27:33-9.
16. Rethman MP, Beltran-Aguilar ED, Billings RJ et al. Nonfluoride caries-preventive agents: executive summary of evidence-based clinical recommendations. J Am Dent Assoc. 2011;142:1065-1071.
17. Nelson S, Milgrom P. Minority participation in a school-based randomized clinical trial of tooth decay prevention in the United States. Contemp Clin Trials. 2011 Oct 1 [Epub ahead of print].
18. Roberts MC, Soge OO, Horst JA, Ly KA, Milgrom P. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus from a dental school clinic surfaces and students. Am J Infect Control. 2011;39(8):628-32.
19. Kagihara LE, Huebner CE, Mouradian WE, Milgrom P, Anderson BA. Parents’ perspectives on a dental home for children with special health care needs. Spec Care Dentist. 2011;31(5):170-77.
20. Nelson S, Mandelaris J, Ferretti G, Heima M, Spiekerman C, Milgrom P. School screening and parental reminders in increasing dental care for children in need: a retrospective cohort study. J Pub Health Dent. 2011 Oct 10. doi:10.1111/j.1752-7325.2011.00282.x. [Epub ahead of print]
21. Milgrom P, Chi DL. Prevention-centered caries management strategies during critical periods in early childhood. J Calif Dent Assoc. 2011 Oct;39(10):735-41.
22. Milgrom P, Tut OK, Mancl LA. Topical iodine and fluoride varnish effectiveness in the primary dentition: A quasi-experimental study. J Dent Child (Chic). 2011 Sep-Dec;78(3):143-7.
23. Kloetzel MK, Huebner CE, Milgrom P, Littell CT, Eggertsson H. Oral health in pregnancy: educational needs of dental professionals and office staff. J Public Health Dent. 2012 Apr 16: doi:10.1111/j.1752-7325.2012.00333.x. [Epub ahead of print]
24. Milgrom P, Tanzer JM. Perspectives on PACS: where is caries prevention clinical research going? J Dent Res. 2012 Feb:91(2):122-4. Epub 2011 Dec 7.
25. Grembowksi D, Spiekerman C, Milgrom P. Social gradients in dental health among low-income mothers and their young children. J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2012;23:570-88.
26. Shinga-Ishihara C, Nakai Y, Milgrom P, Söderling E, Tolvanen M, Murakami K. Xylitol carryover effects on salivary mutans streptococci after 13 months of chewing xylitol gum. Caries Res 2012;46(6):519-22. doi: 10.1159/000341221. Epub 2012 Aug 10.
27. Milgrom P, Söderling EM, Nelson S, Chi DL, Nakai Y. Clinical evidence for polyol efficacy. Adv Dent Res. 2012 Sep;24(2):112-6. doi: 10.1177/0022034512449467.
28. Milgrom P, Huebner CE, Mancl L, Garson G, Grembowski D. Counseling on early childhood caries transmission by dentists. J Public Health Dent. 2012 Sep 13. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-7325.2012.00356.x.
29. Coolidge T, Irwin SP, Leyster KA, Milgrom P. Determinants of receiving intravenous sedation in a sample of dentally-fearful patients in the USA. SAAD Dig. 2012 Jan;28:52-60.
30. Vasquez E, Zegarra G, Chirinos E, Castillo JL, Taves DR, Watson GE, Dills R, Mancl LL, Milgrom P. Short term serum pharmacokinetics of diammine silver fluoride after oral application. BMC Oral Health. 2012 Dec 31;12:60. doi: 10.1186/1472-6831-12-60.
31. Dela Cruz A, Mueller G, Milgrom P, Coldwell SE. A community-based randomized trial of postcard mailings to increase dental utilization among low-income children. J Dent Child (Chi) 2012 Sep-Dec;79(3):154-8.
32. Milgrom P. Tooth decay may be associated with increased risk of dental pain in 5-year olds. J Evid Based Dent Pract. 2013 Mar;13(1):25-6.
33. Milgrom P, Tut OK, Gilmatam J, Gallen M, Chi DL. Areca use among adolescents in Yap and Pohnpei, the Federated States of Micronesia. Harm Reduct J. 2013 Oct 17;10:26. doi: 10.1186/1477-7517-10-26. PubMed PMID: 24134714; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3854772.
34. Milgrom P, Riedy CA, Weinstein P, Mancl LA, Garson G, Huebner CE, Smolen D, Sutherland M. Design of a community-based intergenerational oral health study: “Baby Smiles”. BMC Oral Health. 2013 Aug 6;13(1):38. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 23914908; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3751087.
35. Melbye ML, Chi DL, Milgrom P, Huebner CE, Grembowski D. Washington state foster care: dental utilization and expenditures. J Public Health Dent. 2013 Jul 26. doi: 10.1111/jphd.12027. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 23889590.
36. Nelson S, Albert JM, Geng C, Curtan S, Lang K, Miadich S, Heima M, Malik A, Ferretti G, Eggertsson H, Slayton RL, Milgrom P. Increased enamel hypoplasia and very low birthweight infants. J Dent Res. 2013 Sep;92(9):788-94. doi: 10.1177/0022034513497751. Epub 2013 Jul 15. PubMed PMID: 23857641; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3744269.
37. Lee HH, Milgrom P, Starks H, Burke W. Trends in death associated with pediatric dental sedation and general anesthesia. Paediatr Anaesth. 2013 Aug;23(8):741-6. doi: 10.1111/pan.12210. Epub 2013 Jun 14. PubMed PMID: 23763673; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3712625.
38. Milgrom P, Huebner CE, Mancl LA, Chi DL, Garson G, Grembowski D. County-level characteristics as predictors of dentists’ ECC counseling in the USA: a survey study. BMC Oral Health. 2013 May 20;13:23. doi: 10.1186/1472-6831-13-23. PubMed PMID: 23688178; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3679951.
39. Milgrom P. Tooth decay may be associated with increased risk of dental pain in 5-year-olds. J Evid Based Dent Pract. 2013 Mar;13(1):25-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jebdp.2013.01.003. PubMed PMID: 23481012.
40. Heaton LJ, Mancl LA, Grembowski D, Armfield JM, Milgrom P. Unmet dental need in community-dwelling adults with mental illness: results from the 2007 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. J Am Dent Assoc. 2013 Mar;144(3):e16-23. PubMed PMID: 23449910; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3613122.
41. Chi DL, Milgrom P, Carle AC, Huebner CE, Mancl LA. Multilevel factors associated with dentists’ counseling of pregnant women about periodontal health. Spec Care Dentist. 2014 Jan-Feb;34(1):2-6. doi: 10.1111/scd.12014. Epub 2013 Feb 28 PubMed PMID: 24382365; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3879956.
42. Chi DL, Tut O, Milgrom P. Cluster-randomized Xylitol Toothpaste Trial for Early Childhood Caries Prevention. J Dent Child (Chic). 2014;81(1):27-32. PubMed PMID: 24709430.
43. Weinstein P, Milgrom P, Riedy CA, Mancl LA, Garson G, Huebner CE, Smolen D, Sutherland M, Nykamp A. Treatment fidelity of brief motivational interviewing and health education in a randomized clinical trial to promote dental attendance of low-income mothers and children: Community-Based Intergenerational Oral Health Study “Baby Smiles”. BMC Oral Health. 2014 Feb 24;14(1):15. doi:10.1186/1472-6831-14-15. PubMed PMID: 24559035.
44. Shinga-Ishihara C, Nakai Y, Milgrom P, Murakami K, Matsumoto-Nakano M. Cross-cultural validity of a dietary questionnaire for studies of dental caries risk in Japanese. BMC Oral Health. 2014 Jan 2;14:1. doi: 10.1186/1472-6831-14-1. PubMed PMID: 24383547; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3898231.
45. Lee W, Spiekerman C, Heima M, Eggertsson H, Ferretti G, Milgrom P, Nelson S. The Effectiveness of Xylitol in a School-Based Cluster-Randomized Clinical Trial. Caries Res. 2014 Nov 21;49(1):41-49. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 25428785.
46. Nelson S, Albert JM, Soderling E, Malik A, Curtan S, Geng C, Milgrom P. Increased number of teeth predict acquisition of mutans streptococci in infants. Eur J Oral Sci. 2014 Oct;122(5):346-52. doi: 10.1111/eos.12147. Epub 2014 Sep 3. PubMed PMID: 25183438; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4163102.
47. Milgrom P, Taves DM, Kim AS, Watson GE, Horst JA. Pharmacokinetics of fluoride in toddlers after application of 5% sodium fluoride dental varnish. Pediatrics. 2014 Sep;134(3):e870-4. doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-3501. Epub 2014 Aug 18. PubMed PMID: 25136045; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4143996.
48. Casamassimo PS, Lee JY, Marazita ML, Milgrom P, Chi DL, Divaris K. Improving children’s oral health: an interdisciplinary research framework. J Dent Res. 2014 Oct;93(10):938-42. doi: 10.1177/0022034514547273. Epub 2014 Aug 13. PubMed PMID: 25122218.
49. Huebner CE, Chi DL, Masterson E, Milgrom P. Preventive dental health care experiences of preschool-age children with special health care needs. Spec Care Dentist. 2014 Jul 31. doi: 10.1111/scd.12084. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 25082666.
50. Milgrom P. Management of patients with active caries. J Calif Dent Assoc. 2014 Jul;42(7):449-53. PubMed PMID: 25076627.
51. Huebner C, Milgrom P. Evaluation of a parent-designed programme to support tooth brushing of infants and young children. Int J Dent Hyg. 2014 Jul 29. doi: 10.1111/idh.12100. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 25070036.
52. Huebner CE, Milgrom P, Mancl LA, Smolen D, Sutherland M, Weinstein P, Riedy CA. Implementation partnerships in a community-based intergenerational oral health study. Community Dent Health. 2014 Dec;31(4):207-11. PMID: 25665353.
53. Heima M, Lee W, Milgrom P, Nelson S. Caregiver’s education level and child’s dental caries in African Americans: A path analytic study. Caries Res. 2015;49(2):177-83. PMID:25661111.
54. Lee W, Spiekerman C, Heima M, Eggertsson H, Ferretti G, Milgrom P, Nelson S. The effectiveness of xylitol in a school-based cluster randomized clinical trial. Caries Res. 2015;49(1):41-9. PMID:25428785.
55. Sun BC, Chi DL, Schwarz E, Milgrom P, Yagapen A, Malveau S, Chen Z, Chan B, Danner S, Owen E, Morton V, Lowe RA. Emergency department visits for nontraumatic dental problems: a mixed-methods study. Am J Public Health. 2015 May;105(5):947-55. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2014.302398. Epub 2015 Mar 19. PubMed PMID: 25790415.
56. Cunha-Cruz J, Milgrom P, Shirtcliff RM, Huebner CE, Ludwig S, Allen G, ScottJ. “Everybody brush!”: protocol for a parallel-group randomized controlled trial of a family-focused primary prevention program with distribution of oral hygiene products and education to increase frequency of toothbrushing. JMIR Res Protoc.2015 May 22;4(2):e58. doi: 10.2196/resprot.4485. PubMed PMID: 26002091; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4457936.
57. Cunha-Cruz J, Milgrom P, Shirtcliff RM, Bailit HL, Huebner CE, Conrad D,Ludwig S, Mitchell M, Dysert J, Allen G, Scott J, Mancl L. Population-centered Risk- and Evidence-based Dental Interprofessional Care Team (PREDICT): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials. 2015 Jun 20;16:278. doi:10.1186/s13063-015-0786-y. PubMed PMID: 26091669; PubMed Central PMCID:PMC4475615.
58. Riedy CA, Weinstein P, Mancl L, Garson G, Huebner CE, Milgrom P, Grembowski D, Shepherd-Banigan M, Smolen D, Sutherland M. Dental attendance among low-income women and their children following a brief motivational counseling intervention: A community randomized trial. Soc Sci Med. 2015 Nov;144:9-18. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.09.005. Epub 2015 Sep 8. PubMed PMID: 26372934; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4610142.
59. Milgrom P, Tut OK, Gallen M, Mancl L, Spillane N, Chi DL, Ramsay DS. Symptoms with betel nut and betel nut with tobacco among Micronesian youth. Addict Behav. 2016 Feb;53:120-4. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2015.10.011. Epub 2015 Oct 8. PubMed PMID: 26476008.
60. Nelson S, Riedy C, Albert JM, Lee W, Slusar MB, Curtan S, Ferretti G,Cunha-Cruz J, Milgrom P. Family Access to a Dentist Study (FADS): A multi-center randomized controlled trial. Contemp Clin Trials. 2015 Nov;45(Pt B):177-83. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2015.10.006. Epub 2015 Oct 20. PubMed PMID: 26500170; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4674313.
61. Heima M, Milgrom P. Soda Consumption May Increase Risk of Dental Caries in Primary Teeth of Low-income African Americans. J Evid Based Dent Pract. 2015 Dec;15(4):200-1. doi: 10.1016/j.jebdp.2015.10.007. Epub 2015 Oct 28. PubMed PMID: 26698011
62. Horst JA, Ellenikiotis H, Milgrom PL. UCSF Protocol for Caries Arrest Using Silver Diamine Fluoride: Rationale, Indications and Consent. J Calif Dent Assoc. 2016 Jan;44(1):16-28. Review. PubMed PMID: 26897901; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4778976.